Exhilarating Photos Capture the Pleasures of Classic Children’s Books


There’s nothing quite like losing yourself in a book, and that’s doubly true for a young reader opening a children’s classic for the first time. Ellen Cantor‘s series of composite photos, titled Prior Pleasures, captures this exhilaration — and pays tribute to the photographer’s earliest sources of inspiration. Fittingly, Cantor’s technique is just as old-school as her subject matter: rather than photoshopping her images, Cantor uses multiple exposures to lend the illusion of motion to such touchstones as Alice in Wonderland and the Nancy Drew books. “I photograph the end pages, illustrations, and text,” she says. “This process allows me to show the excitement of a book fluttering open and coming to life for readers of all generations.”

Click through for a few more images from Prior Pleasures, which we spotted via My Modern Met, and visit Cantor’s website to see the rest of the series and learn more about her work.

Little Women. Photo credit: Ellen Cantor

Nancy Drew. Photo credit: Ellen Cantor

A Children’s Garden of Verses. Photo credit: Ellen Cantor

Hajji Baba. Photo credit: Ellen Cantor

The Campfire Girls. Photo credit: Ellen Cantor

Black Beauty. Photo credit: Ellen Cantor